Articles from North Dakota
Wind farms are hailed as a source of clean, renewable energy. But even wind energy supporters acknowledge that those spinning wind turbine blades impose an environmental cost: dead birds. Consequently, federal wildlife officials are mulling a morbid question involving a large North Dakota wind farm: How many bald eagle deaths do they consider acceptable for a bird that is legally protected and hallowed as a national symbol?
Public Service Commission Chairman Randy Christmann told legislators last week the commission was not involved with the agreement and he believes future offset packages should be handled differently.
One 10-year study conducted in Dickey County showed that seven of nine grassland bird species avoided wind farms in the area. A three-year study of the impact of wind facilities on duck habitat in North Dakota found there were 20 percent fewer breeding pairs in areas with wind towers.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission is requiring wind farms such as this one in Morton County to upgrade to light-mitigating technology, but the Federal Aviation Administration has not yet approved the technology.
Initially, a 4-year permit may have seemed like plenty of time to begin work on a wind farm project in Mercer County. But in April 2018, as the 4-year deadline swiftly approaches its close with nothing done, an extension became the subject of debate.
Nextera Energy Resources, told the Ward County Commission Tuesday that the company is considering a 300-megawatt wind farm, consisting of about 150 turbines. The location is the former Hartland wind farm area that had proposed to encompass part of Ward, Mountrail and Burke counties.
We all see the hundreds of wind power turbines which dot the beautiful landscape of our region. We're told, by the supporters of these wind farms, that they're a boon to our society. That they're reducing greenhouse gas emissions by providing cheap, reliable energy. Except, this week I spoke with a man from the University of California, Berkeley who says that's a lot of bunk.
ASHLEY, N.D. - Only four members of the public spoke at an almost five-hour public hearing Wednesday held by the North Dakota Public Service Commission on the proposed Merricourt Wind Power Project.
BISMARCK—A North Dakota regulator expects a decision on the final state permit for a wind farm northeast of Valley City to come by the end of the summer.
So when do taxpayers blow off wind energy and demand that it stands on its own? When do we have a say in how much of the cost of a wind farm we're willing to bear? When do we demand more transparency on how much wind energy is raising our electric rates?
BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved two sets of rule changes that strengthen requirements for future wind projects and ensure they are properly decommissioned at the end of their use. The rule changes focus on two different areas related to wind projects: (1) decommissioning requirements for when a wind farm is retired, and (2) lighting systems.
HB1378 requires that all wind turbines install aircraft detection lighting systems. All wind energy projects approved after June 5, 2016, must have systems in place by Dec. 31, 2019. Projects approved prior to that must have lighting systems in place by Dec. 31, 2021.
“We want to respond very clearly,” the lawmakers wrote. “There are NO TRADITIONAL electric generation sources being developed or even planned in North Dakota, due to the last administration’s efforts to regulate fossil fuels out of existence, and primarily because of the PTC.”
The wind energy bill passed by the North Dakota House of Representatives is an effective compromise, according to Rep. Mike Brandenburg, R-Edgeley.
“We’re starting to have more opposition at wind farm hearings,” said Christmann, explaining that major issues in public hearings tend to be the sound turbines produce, the visual aspect and setbacks. From a regulatory standpoint, he said it comes down to a delicate balancing act in terms of expanding the state’s energy production and ensuring there’s enough capacity on the grid for electricity.
Proponents of House Bill 1378 told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that installing technology that keeps the lights from flashing unless aircraft travel within a certain range will improve the view shed for area residents. ...living near wind energy projects want one thing, Peace at night from blinding red light.”
The legislative attack on wind power intensified in the closing days of the session’s first half. Amendments cropped up that would have imposed a moratorium on wind energy installations in the state.
A proposal that would have created a two-year moratorium on new wind energy development in North Dakota was stripped from legislation that ultimately passed the Senate as a study of the state's energy plan Wednesday, Feb. 22.
Sen. Dwight Cook, R-Mandan, said his amendment was intended to “take some of the edge” off of the original moratorium proposal. ...“What I’m looking for is reliable, affordable electricity,” Cook said. “One of the things that we’re responsible for, I would think anyway, is to make sure that the … electricity of North Dakota is always available to the citizens of North Dakota and we don’t suffer through a blackout.”
Sen. Jessica Unruh, R-Beulah, Senate Bill 2314’s primary sponsor who supported the amendment, said she believes in an “all-of-the-above energy policy,” but the wind energy industry is “heavily subsidized” by the federal government. “If everybody is paying taxes fairly and being regulated fairly, I think the market will work itself out,” said Unruh